How To Re-Evaluate Your Sales Stack

re-evaluate your sales stackRecently, our chief operating officer reminded us of an old finance adage:

“If you build it right, it will run forever.”

But with the rapid pace that sales technology evolves, this phrase doesn’t hold true for your sales stack.  

Modern sales leaders have to constantly re-evaluate the technologies in their sales stack. Here’s how:

How To Re-Evaluate Your Sales Stack

First things first

Before you do anything else, define and understand your sales process.

The technologies in your sales stack should optimize the process you already have in place, not define it.  And simply buying hot, new technology to layer it on top of a process you don’t understand will not work.

So make sure you understand the steps that lead up to closing a deal (this will help you define KPIs, too). For some sales organizations, the process could look something like:

Lead Generation > Nurture > Demo > Close

When you understand the sales process and the activities that are involved in each step, you’ll be able to better understand whether a piece of technology is achieving the desired results — whether that’s increasing productivity, efficiency, automation or all three.

Take a look at charges

Whatever system you use to track company expenses, dive deeply into it. Pick out all of the sales technology services you’ve paid for in the last 12 months.

You may discover technologies you didn’t even realize you bought or still had.

Too often, sales technology is purchased with a company card and then forgotten about shortly after. One person (or a few) maybe have played with it, didn’t think it was the right fit and then let it fall to the wayside.

Once you’ve identified the technologies you have, divide them into who’s using them, what function they perform and which part of the sales process they fit under.

Interview the end users

Next, survey your team members about the technologies they are using, as well as the ones they aren’t. Ask them:

  • How are you using this technology today?
  • What’s working?
  • What’s not working?
  • Why are we using it?
  • Who chose it?

You might also be surprised by what you learn here. Sales reps may not be using certain technologies that you’re paying for because they didn’t even realize they had them or the technology takes more work than expected.

Evaluate to a fault

Once you know the who, what, how and why of each piece of technology, it’s time to go through and evaluate whether you’re getting the right ROI. Is that piece of technology really worth $30,000 a year?

Because many sales technology providers are constantly expanding and evolving their platforms, search for overlaps. You might find that a sales coaching platform you have also does predictive analytics, eliminating the need for an entirely different piece of technology.

Divide and conquer

After you’ve determined the value and effectiveness of each piece of technology in your sales stack, it’s time to make the tough decisions. Place each piece of technology in one of three categories: keep, refine or discard.

Keep the technologies that fit right in with your processes and are increasing sales team productivity and efficiency.

Refine the technologies that you think are a good fit, but aren’t quite working the way you want. (This might require something like cleaning data or reworking your process around the technology.)

Discard the technologies that aren’t increasing productivity or efficiency, your team isn’t using, don’t have the right ROI or don’t work with your process.

Since both your organization and the sales technology industry will continue to change, you must re-evaluate your sales stack frequently to ensure that you’re getting the most out of it. If not once a quarter, at least do this once a year.

Top sales influencers have advice about your sales stack as well. Download your copy of our eBook to find out what they’re saying:

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